More on the power of awareness…
Awareness, as I’ve said before, is your best shot at a solution to life’s problems–at least those problems that have a solution. With enough awareness, you either see how you’re creating a problem, or you see that there’s nothing you can do about it. Both are valuable.
There are certain problems you can’t do anything about. There’s no way to change the fact that everything in this world is impermanent and will eventually come to an end or fall apart. You also can’t escape from the web of cause and effect that you’re a part of. The solution, if you want to call it that, is to stop making these things into problems. In other words, stop resisting what cannot be resisted.
You can, however, avoid or minimize some of the problems of life, and awareness is the key to doing this. If you’re aware, you can exercise choice regarding the way you enter into and engage the world of cause and effect. Though you can’t control everything raining down on you from the world of cause and effect, you can exercise enough control to substantially improve your life.
There are two ways to approach life: you can live automatically, on autopilot, or consciously, with awareness. Unfortunately, nearly all people live with little awareness, on autopilot. What’s more, if you’re living on autopilot, you won’t even know you’re on autopilot, unless someone tells you. That’s why they call it autopilot.
Identifying the areas where you’re operating unconsciously is one of the benefits of having a teacher. The teacher is like a mirror, showing you what you can’t see for yourself, about yourself. Even a teacher needs a teacher.
Of course, whether you live on autopilot or with awareness isn’t an either/or proposition. There’s a huge spectrum of possibilities between living unconsciously and living with awareness, and each person is somewhere between these two–hopefully developing toward greater awareness. I described this developmental process in detail in the first dozen or so posts on this blog. You might consider reading those posts if you haven’t already done so. They are important, and it’s fascinating information.
The process of becoming more aware can continue to almost infinite levels–or it can stop somewhere along the way. The process pauses periodically to allow you to integrate the latest bit of awareness you’ve gained. Each new gain in awareness changes your perception of reality, and of who you are, and this new perspective takes some getting used to (think of a child going off to school for the first time, or when you went off to college).
Whatever amount of awareness you have, you use it to navigate your life. As long as you can navigate with a reasonable amount of success with the awareness you already have, and as long as your environment remains relatively stable (in other words, doesn’t make any out-of-the-ordinary demands on you that require you to become more aware), you’ll likely stay at your current level of awareness.
As long as what you’re doing works, you’ll keep doing it.
If something significant changes, however, your awareness might need to expand in a way that allows you to deal with the change. If it doesn’t, you’ll be handicapped in certain ways. Most mental and emotional dysfunctions are the result of incomplete developmental shifts.
Some people purposely seek change and put themselves in situations that require an ongoing expansion of awareness. They continually try new things. They take in new ideas. They read. They take classes and seminars. They meditate. They spend time with new and different people. They put themselves in challenging and novel situations. All these things can stimulate the development of additional awareness.
On the other hand, some people do everything they can to limit the amount of change they experience, or the amount of new information or novel experiences they have. For these people (in fact, for most people), development levels off at a certain point–unless something beyond their control causes a significant change to their environment.
As awareness expands, you see more. You watch, you might say, from a higher spot on the mountain. Your perspective grows. For instance, you take into account a longer span of time as you look at life. When you’re young, you’re more in the moment, but as awareness expands you gain a longer-term view. You plan more and delay gratification. You’re more likely to see the effects of the past on your life, and how what you do now will affect the future. Ultimately you might come to see your place in the ongoing flow of life in terms of, and from the perspective of, eons of time–or even infinite time.
As awareness expands you gain the ability to take increasingly larger, broader perspectives. At first, you may see only your own perspective, not even realizing that other people even have a different perspective. As your awareness expands, though, you begin to see the perspectives of others, first of those in your own family, then your peer group, then the perspective of other groups (“them”).
If you continue to develop (a big “if”), your perspective eventually takes in that of all people, then expands further to include all living things. It might eventually expand beyond that of living things. It might even expand beyond the perspective of a limited separate self looking out on a separate world and separate others.
As awareness expands, you more clearly see the web of cause and effect, how it affects you, and how you affect it. You see, for instance, the potential stream of effects that flow from the thoughts and other internal representations you make, from your actions, from what you believe, and from previously unexamined basic premises about reality.
You also see a similar flow of effects from others, and from events originating in the non-living world. You may see that what you thought was solid reality is just an effect that begins with certain premises you always thought were solidly true, but actually aren’t.
To see all of this, though, you have to learn how to observe certain things that most people are unaware of. Much of my teaching is about how to gain (and direct) this awareness. I’ve often said that I do two things: I offer a tool that dramatically expands awareness (Holosync), and then show you where to direct that awareness to give you the greatest amount of control over your life.
An infant first becomes aware of his own existence as something or someone separate from the rest of the world. He then becomes aware of his body and it’s movements and sensory experiences. Eventually he becomes aware of his emotions, and then, hopefully, his thoughts and beliefs.
In many ways, however, the amount of awareness most people have of these basics is just the tip of the iceberg. Most people are aware that they have thoughts and emotions, but only consciously experience them now and then. It is extremely rare for a human being to be aware of how he creates his feelings, or of the effects of his thoughts.
It is even more rare for a person to be aware of the premises that underlie the reality he creates in each moment (or even that he is creating such a reality). Even fewer people see how their thoughts, actions, and basic premises affect the ongoing flow of cause and effect, and the complexity of how cause and effect affects them.
Why are your thoughts, internal representations, actions, beliefs, and premises so important? Because these things generate nearly all of your experience of life. Your internal cognitive processes, and particularly your internal representations and beliefs, create how you feel, how you behave, which people and situations you attract or become attracted to, and what the things going on “out there” mean (or at least what you think they mean).
These four outcomes make up most, if not all, of your experience of life. If you can become aware of how you create them, you gain a tremendous amount of choice over what happens in your life. Why? Because awareness creates choice.
If you’re not aware of how you create your life, you’ll do it automatically. The part of you that creates your experience of life operates continuously, whether you’re aware of it or not. If you’re unaware, it will create your life on autopilot, and you’ll get whatever you’ve been programmed (mostly during your childhood) to create.
In other words, your past will determine your present, for better or worse.
For this reason, it’s very important that you become aware of the ongoing stream of internal pictures you make and the thoughts you think–and the effects they create. Ninety-nine percent of this happens outside your awareness, but it’s the raw material that creates your experience of life.
If you watch carefully enough, you’ll see exactly how these usually unconscious events generate your feelings and other internal states. If you aren’t willing to learn how to watch this stuff, though–and all of it continues to happen automatically (as it does for all but a tiny percentage of people)–your feelings will continue to “just happen”.
Then, because your internal states generate your behavior, your awareness of (and choice over) how you create your internal states gives you choice over your behavior. You’ll stop behaving in ways you later regret. You’ll also stop failing to do what you know you want to do, or know you should do.
With a wider, more aware perspective, you’ll see the consequences of your thoughts, internal pictures, and actions. And, in clearly seeing this, those things you’re doing that don’t serve you will fall away.
Why? Because you can’t do something that doesn’t serve you and do it with awareness. You can do something over and over (in fact, for your entire life) if you do it without awareness–which is what most people do. You can’t, however, do something that isn’t resourceful with awareness and keep doing it.
I want to be very clear, though, that awareness of how you do something isn’t the same as knowing that you do it. You probably know that you do all kinds of things that aren’t good for you. You may even know why you do them. You may have noticed, though, that knowing this has not helped you to stop doing those things.
Awareness, in this case, means actually seeing what you do inside that generates the outcome, as you do it, and making the connection between what you do and what is created when you do it. Doing this requires quite a bit of awareness, which is why the awareness created by Holosync is so valuable.
It’s also crucial that you become aware of what you believe, because most of what happens in your life flows from something you believe. A belief is something you think is true. When you look at beliefs more closely, though, you see that believing involves a kind of faulty, circular logic.
Look at it this way. Why do you believe that something is true? That’s right–because you have “evidence”. This assumes, though, that “having evidence” is a good way to determine whether or not something is true. It seems like common sense, but is it?
Here’s the problem: no matter what you believe, you’ll automatically generate evidence that it’s true. In other words, you’ll find a way to convince yourself that anything you believe is “true”. You could just as easily say that the whole idea of “true” is faulty, since whatever you believe will create its own evidence. Believe something, and you’ll accumulate evidence that you’re right. Meanwhile, someone else is busy accumulating evidence that the opposite belief is also true.
How do you create this evidence? There are three ways. First, you unconsciously attract people and situations that help you accumulate evidence that you’re right, as if you had some sort of psychic radar. By deciding what to believe, you’re deciding what kinds of people and situations you’ll attract or be attracted to–those who will help you be “right” about what you believe.
If you believe that the world is full of assholes (for instance), you’ll attract the perfect people and situations to help you prove that you’re right. Believe that you can do anything, and you’ll attract the people and situations that will allow you to be right about that. Whatever you believe, you’ll recruit people to help you prove it, and you’ll find yourself drawn to situations tailor-made to help you prove that you’re “right”.
The second way you prove the “truth” of whatever you believe is by interpreting what is happening in a way that makes it seem that you’re right. Out of all the possible interpretations in any situation, you’ll pick the one that supports your belief, and reject the others.
And finally, you’ll act in a way that makes what you believe come true.
And, since this is all going on outside your awareness, you won’t even know you’re doing it! If you’re unaware of this process and how it works (which almost everyone is), you’ll do it unconsciously, and it will look like all the things you believe really are true.
All you’ve done, though, is selectively (and unconsciously) select people and situations that allow you to be right (while avoiding the people and situations that would contradict what you believe), select the interpretation of what is happening that allows you to be right, and act in a way that causes you to be right.
Had you selected different people and situations, picked a different interpretation, or acted in a different way, you would have generated a different set of “evidence”, and something else would have appeared to be true. So what seems to be “true” is just whatever appears that way, based on something you do.
So, becoming aware of your beliefs, and observing how they generate the people, situations, and outcomes in your life, is pretty important, don’t you think?
Or, you can just unconsciously keep believing whatever you already believe, and keep unconsciously generating whatever outcomes those beliefs create.
There are several more internal processes you use to create your experience of life, but if you learn to observe these basics, you’ll probably figure out the rest (or, I can teach them to you). Watch these basics with awareness and you become a remarkable person, one other people will marvel at. You’ll see things about “reality” that will completely change your view of life, the universe, and your place in it. And, you’ll discover that a lot of what you thought was true is complete delusion.
There is a price to pay to achieve this kind of mastery, however. What you’re setting out to become aware of is very illusive. It zooms by very quickly, and in the beginning it’s quite outside your awareness. You won’t be good at it right away. Like anything else worth mastering, it takes practice and persistence to become aware of how you create your reality.
Are you willing to pay this price?
If you aren’t, that’s fine. If that’s the case, be content with the amount of control you have right now over your life, because it isn’t going to get any better unless you become more aware.
If you are willing, and you keep practicing, a whole new world will open up for you, and most of the problems of life will fall away.
You’ll be left with the two “givens” I’ve told you about: that everything is impermanent, and that there’s no escape from cause and effect. You’re just going to have to let go regarding the problem of impermanence. You can either surrender, or fight, and since it’s a fight you can’t win, fighting just creates suffering, for you and for others. You might as well fight against breathing, or circulating your blood.
As for cause and effect, though you can’t escape from it, you can, if you’re aware, see the potential consequences of your internal processes and your actions. With this awareness, you can choose to a much greater degree which effects you’re willing to experience.
How, then, do you pay the price to have this awareness? My first suggestion would be to commit yourself to meditating daily with Holosync. Holosync isn’t the only way to create the necessary awareness, but it’s the best (and fastest) way I’ve found.
Second, spend some time each day observing your internal pictures and internal dialog, and noticing how they directly create your internal states. You might, for instance, get into bed each night and spend five or ten minutes recalling one or two significant experiences from your day. Rewind your memory tape and see if you can determine what you said to yourself and what pictures you made, and how these things created the internal states you experienced at the time.
Or, think about someone you have strong feelings about, either positive or negative. Notice the internal representations you make, and the feelings that follow from them.
You might also pick another time to practice during the day, so that you spend ten to twenty minutes a day, divided into at least two sessions, observing your internal representations. Keep in mind that at first you might not be very good at it. If you keep practicing, however, even if it’s hard at first, you’ll get better at it. Eventually you won’t be able to make internal representations that don’t serve you without seeing yourself do it. Once you see that you’re doing it (see, not know), you won’t be able to keep doing it.
Here’s something else you can do. Notice if there’s a result you don’t like that keeps happening in your life. Perhaps you never seem to get the respect you think you deserve. Maybe you keep getting stuck in a lousy job. Perhaps your relationships don’t work out and you keep ending up alone. Maybe you keep losing your money when you invest.
Whatever it is, consider that you might have an underlying core belief about yourself, other people, or the world that causes you to 1) attract the perfect people and situations to help you prove you’re right, 2) choose from all possible choices the one interpretation that make it seem that you’re right, even if there are other possibilities, and 3) act in ways that cause you to be right about what you believe.
Once you figure out what the belief is, instead of trying to get rid of it or change it, watch yourself prove that it’s true. Go into the next situation knowing that you’re going to prove that you’re right, and watch to see how you do it. Become incredibly curious to find out how you do it. Watch your internal representations. Observe what meanings you place on what happens. Watch how you make decisions about what to do, and with whom. Watch your actions.
Become fascinated to discover how you arrange to be right. If what you’re proving doesn’t serve you, watching in this way will make it impossible to continue. You will lose all enthusiasm and motivation to keep going, and the belief (and the outcomes it creates) will fall away.
Finally, if you want to go much more deeply into how what you do on an unconscious level creates your reality, consider taking my Life Principles Integration Process online courses. Just go to www.centerpointe.com/change to read about these courses (and to enroll), or go to www.centerpointe.com/life/preview to listen to a free preview lesson.
You can’t control everything in life, but you can control enough of it to allow yourself to create an amazing, fulfilling life that contains most of what you want. You’ll even figure out how to turn what you didn’t want, when it happens, into an opportunity. Sometimes you even end up with more than you thought possible.
That’s what happen to me, and it can happen to you, too.
Before I let you go, I have two Five Star recommendations for you, one highly entertaining and the other highly educational.
The first is about my good friend Stuart Davis. Stuart is totally crazy–but in the best possible way. He’s also one of the most talented people on this planet, and I really mean that (I can’t speak for other planets, but Stuart probably can).
Stuart is a super-talented indie-rock musician and composer (he has, I believe, 14 or 15 albums), an hysterically funny comedian, a talented writer, a social commentator in the same vein (the jugular vein, I believe), as Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, and a very talented visual artist.
I wanted to alert you to the fact that Stuart has a new TV show on HDNet. I have an advanced copy of the first six shows, and they are FUNNY IRREVERENT FUNNY THOUGHTFUL BIZARRE OUT-THERE FUNNY (if you know what I mean). Really funny. I strongly suggest that you watch this show! Here is a press release about it:
Zen Buddhist-indie rocker Stuart Davis is launching a new comedy series: Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll. Season One of this ground-breaking TV show debuts April 26 on HDNet across the U.S. and Canada. Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll is written, directed, and hosted by Stuart Davis, and features edgy humor from the open-hearted maniac. Each episode follows Stuart performing stand up comedy, news, sketches, and his acclaimed music. A twisted mind and a sensitive soul, David has made a career out of parsing tricky topics, and Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll finds this ‘Punk Monk’ at his multi-faceted best.
“We are excited to welcome Stuart Davis and Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll to HDNet. Stuart is one of a kind, and we are thrilled he is on HDNet.” –Marc Cuban, President of HDNet
Davis has studied his heroes (Ricky Gervais, Amy Sedaris, Jon Stewert), but is finding a unique voice with his ‘spiritual’ brand of comedy. SGR&R is a delirious dive into life’s Mysteries through the mind of a Cosmo-centric comedian. It’s no wonder Davis has become known as the Twisted Mystic.
“Without exaggeration, Stuart Davis is one of the most fascinating and exceptional songwriters in modern music.” –San Jose Metro
While Davis is a happily hyphenated artist (writer-director-actor-comedian-songwriter), he’s first known for his music. The sound track to Season One of SGR&R (‘Songs From The TV Series’) is being released simultaneously with the debut of the TV show. The first single, Twisted Mystery, hits radio in April and is also featured on Showtime in the series I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single. Davis will be touring nationally through the summer to promote the TV series and the new collection of pop songs.
So mark April 26 on your calendar and watch Stuart make fun of everything you hold near and dear. You can also learn more, and see clips of Stuart (and other bizarre stuff), at www.sexgodrocknroll.com.
My second recommendation is of a completely different nature. If you have kids, and you want them to excel at school and at life, check out Supercamp. My friend Bobbi DePorter, a fellow-member of Jack Canfield’s Transformational Leadership Council, started Supercamp many years ago, and it is the premier learning and life-skills experience for young people.
If your son or daughter would benefit from state-of-the-art methods for studying, problem-solving, relationship success, or could use more self-esteem, better grades, more confidence, more motivation, and the opportunity to learn and internalize the keys to life success, take a look at Supercamp.
About fifteen ago (before I knew Bobbi DePorter), I sent my daughter, Brisa, to Supercamp. She was already a good student, but after Supercamp she became unstoppable. Eventually she became a National Merit Scholar and was offered two full-ride scholarships (to Lewis and Clark College and Scripps College), and was also admitted to two prestigeous Ivy League colleges. Brisa will turn 25 in June, and I still see evidence of what she learned at Supercamp. I highly recommend this incredible program.
You can watch a great 6-minute video on their home page (upper right-hand corner) at www.supercamp.com. If you have a school-age son or daughter (or grandchild), please go watch it.
You can also listen to a longer teleseminar at www.supercamp.com/supercamp_teleseminar.html. It’s called “Teen Success in Challenging Times/Practical Tips on How You Can Help Your Teen”.
Finally, please share this blog post with people you care about.
(click the player above to listen to this post)
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